An ardent suitor
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Guissou, Tibi. 2006. An ardent suitor. Spore 121. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48011
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore121.pdf
Generally a reserved character, Tibi Guissou lights up when he talks about two topics his research on micro-organisms which live in symbiosis with plants and Spore
Tibi Guissou, microbiologist at the INERA agricultural research institute. Generally a reserved character, Tibi Guissou lights up when he talks about two topics his research on micro-organisms which live in symbiosis with plants and Spore. His first encounter with the magazine dates back to 1994. At the time, he was finishing his university studies and was doing an internship at the Institut de l environnement et de recherches agricoles (INERA), the agricultural research institute in Burkina Faso where he now works. He found the magazine lying on a table, flicked through it and was captivated. But being a prudent suitor, he was at first happy just to read it, allowing himself occasional furtive visits to his beloved, of whom he still considered himself unworthy. As a young student, I didn t know how to get the magazine , he recalls. I never imagined that I too could receive it. Mr Guissou took his time before subscribing to Spore in 1997. Ever since, his favourite magazine has had a special place on his desk. The issues have piled up over the years. When it fails to arrive on time, he rushes to the documentation centre. Impatient, he fears the worst. In the Netherlands, would the parents of his beloved prevent her from coming out? He could quite believe it, since in his country, a prospective husband must tend the fields of his future in-laws and make them gifts. And he knows he has done none of these things. Then, another thought comes to mind: could she have been carried off by some rival, perhaps by the postman? Comparing the magazine to a talented chef, he confides, I want to discover what she has prepared, in the hope that this time, the dish will be even better than the one before. Like any attentive companion, Spore, plies him with advice. Working on a water and soil conservation project in 1994, Mr Guissou began experimenting with living hedges. These natural barriers protect plants from strong winds in the dry season and ensure that market gardeners get a good crop of vegetables. But to introduce a new technique, it is not enough to shout it from the rooftops. You need to know how to put across the message, and engineers are not always very good at that. The technical publications and leaflets I order help me to develop the right approach for dealing with rural communities. As a result, I am better able to judge what kind of message to get across to people, and can more easily assess their needs and take their concerns into consideration , explains Mr Guissou. In the articles he writes for specialist magazines, he frequently quotes Spore. Unlike other publications which focus too much on one aspect, Spore has a more multi-disciplinary approach , observes the researcher, who has done work on the jujube, inspired by an article from the magazine.